ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Those Not Deemed 'Psychotic' Develop Delusional Systems, Too

Jack Bragen
Sunday September 08, 2019 - 11:22:00 AM

A psychotic person is often described as "delusional" and "disconnected from reality." However, it is very easy and quite common for those in the general public to be delusional. The main difference, I think, is that a person considered normal doesn't ignore the five senses to the extent that they can't function. 

I've seen evidence of misconceptions about who I am. But that also could be part of my own delusional system. So, instead of talking about myself, I am going to give examples of delusional people who are outside arm's length from me. 

Some religious practices, according to some psychiatrists, are thought to be delusional. Many psychiatrists ascribe to atheistic beliefs. Thus, when they see people worship, psychiatrists may consider it delusional. 

(It is important, even if tangential, to note here that many great scientists in history and in modern times have been religious, in many instances, Christian. There does not have to be a conflict between believing in science versus having religious beliefs. For example, Gregor Johann Mendel, who founded modern genetics, was an abbot.) 

If you look at modern day or recent New Age Spirituality groups, such as the teachings of Ken Keyes Jr., some of the material works, but some of it is out to lunch. The fact that New Age Spirituality systems interfered with the basic survival of practitioners could be a factor in why these groups have largely lost popularity. 

Atheism and some forms of Christianity seem like opposite poles of belief, neither of which seems to adequately describe reality. Human beings who completely defy obvious facts, such as those who have chosen to get violent about opposing vaccinations, are delusional. 

The criminal justice system, while touted by participants as fact-based, gets it wrong about half the time. That system also has its own dialect, which carries connotations of tremendous hostility and inhumanity. 

Our monetary system has its own language. What, after all, is a "fictitious business name," if not fiction? Is a corporation really a person? If you don't speak it well, you are rendered impoverished. 

Nazism was and is a collective delusional system, and Holocaust deniers have asserted that the Holocaust was a mass hallucination. Do you believe them? Or do you believe the remaining hard evidence of this atrocity that they haven't gotten to and destroyed? 

The human mind is designed to see what it wants to see, and anything to the contrary is ignored. 

Religious extremists often believe that anyone except members of their own group are evil and should be eliminated. Those who perpetrated the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Centers were willing to die for their cause. They probably believed that western civilization is evil. And, while there is some amount of evil in western civilization, it is no more than found in any grouping of people one might look at. 

Deluded non-mentally ill people often think simplistically. Some have asserted that the Moon landings were a giant hoax. Some believe firmly in wide, baseless generalizations. Simplistic thought is at the root of things like racism, and the prejudice against disabled people. Some affluent people presume they are affluent because they are better. Or, they might think they are better because they are affluent. 

Trump, promulgater of lies, can fool conservatives and has increased the level of delusional load under which Americans function. This is a time in which people in the U.S. are out of touch with reality. Reinstating reality will be a very challenging task, for whoever inherits power after Trump is out of office. 

Psychotic people can be right some of the time. Just because a person suffers from a disabling condition affecting the mind, it doesn't mean that our minds can't do anything. Strengthening the mind through brain intensive tasks can lead to a person with psychotic tendencies to otherwise have a very good mind. 

A person considered psychotic is more normal than many people think. The ability of the human mind to believe things that are obviously false means that psychotic people are the same as normal people, we've just taken illusion a bit too far. 

The role of medication and other treatment is to increase the emphasis of one's surroundings, and to weaken emphasis on the internal. This causes many patients' delusions to scale back. At some point, we should learn to trust ourselves again. Yet this step must be taken with some precautions.